Hero Achiever 150 iSmart First Ride Review

23 December 2016, 04:19 PM Omkar Thakur

What is it?

In motorcycles, Hero is as synonymous with India as cricket. Like Parthiv Patel, who made a comeback to the Indian test side after being in and out of the team, we have the Achiever 150 iSmart, making another comeback, a decade after it was first introduced in 2006. Back then, the Hero Honda Achiever posed as a sporty motorcycle but a rather civilised version of the Xtreme, the CBZ successor. 

With the new Achiever Hero has decided to build a premium commuter, the one that intends to invoke the kind of loyalty the Unicorn has. So, we find out if Hero has managed to gets the wings out of their system and still build an achiever.

How does it look?

The new Achiever 150 is a commuter and makes no bones about it. The design is conservative and tailored for the old-school Indian buyer wants something slightly sporty but reliable and economical.

It gets a triangular headlamp with the customary bikini fairing. The tank is large and sculpted to accommodate knees. The side panels are large contoured chunks that look a little too big for the bike from certain angles. The tail lamp design is reminiscent of the Unicorn.

The riding posture is not typical commuter – the reach to the handlebars is a little long, and the handlebar is a little low-set to let the rider sit completely upright. The foot-pegs are set forward and easy to scrape if you are of the adventurous type. However, they’re set too far ahead to allow you to stand on the pegs for unseen speedbreakers and bad roads – footpegs slightly to the rear would have allowed the rider the option of standing, making it far easier to avoid jolts to the back. The engine and cycle parts are all blacked out including the alloys, chain cover, exhaust can, et al. The only chrome bit, apart from the handle bar and front forks, is the exhaust cover plate – less to worry about during the monsoon, then. 

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Hero Achiever 150

Hero Achiever 150

  • Displacement149 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)13 bhp
  • Kerb Weight138 kg
  • ;

Last known Ex‑showroom price

 67,750

How does it ride?

Fantastic. I know it is odd coming from a quintessential performance freak. Hero has got quite a few things right with the Achiever. The 150cc single cylinder petrol engine NVH levels are excellent. It does get a little vocal and vibey near the redline, but the typical owner will not see that bit of the rev range often.

The 13Nm of torque peaks at 8000rpm but can be felt from almost 3000rpm which makes the engine peppy. The peak power of 13bhp is not much, but for a commuter, it is good enough for the dash to 80kmph. While it feels planted at 80 or even at its top whack just past 100, riding at 40kmph in fifth gear is also effortless. It doesn’t knock at low rpm often and in case it does, the butter-smooth gearbox makes it easy to drop a gear immediately. The gears are stacked fairly close in the beginning but the top is tall enough to take it just past 100kmph. 

With the commuter riding posture and excellent balance, manoeuvring through traffic is easy. The suspension is soft and remains comfortable over long distances as well. The soft seat is a literal pain in posterior, though – everyone in the team complained of aches in the area after riding the Achiever for an appreciable amount of time. The brakes are nice and predictable. The front disc brake might feel a bit spongy but makes sure the motorcycle stops soon enough. While the front tyre looks good for an 80/100-18 Ceat Secura, a similar 80/100-18 in the rear looks skinny. Nonetheless, both do their jobs pretty well and stick to the road most of the times. In fact, a fatter tyre will not be as suitable for gravel-strewn, potholed country roads.  

 

Anything else I should know?

Yes. This one gets i3s technology. The start/stop function works perfectly and is seamless. Hero has really worked this system out well. It also gets AHO – auto headlamp on function which is   required by legislation, come April. 

After the departure of Honda from the Hero-Honda partnership, the 150cc engine had to be reworked. The way this new engine has turned out is commendable. It is not a pocket rocket at all but has the potential to transform into one.

 

Why should I buy it?

You should buy it because the Achiever does almost everything right. It is focussed on commuting and is comfortable. It is also built well. The cycle parts are of very good quality and for a budget commuter, there have been no corners cut.

Yes, it has an analogue console that reads speed, revs and fuel level along with the odometer and a trip meter. Then again, there is little chance of any of these going kaput anytime soon. It gets warning lamps for the side-stand and the i3s. Even the quality of switchgear and other plastic components is good.

In terms of ride quality, apart from the Honda Unicorn, hardly anything comes even close to the Achiever and that is a statement in itself. It is quite economical at 58.7km to the litre for our standard city fuel run, and it is the most technologically advanced one with the i3s technology.

 

Where does it fit in?

In the 150cc commuter category, the Achiever at Rs 61,800, ex-showroom, Mumbai, is very competitively priced. Its benchmark and prime competitor, the Unicorn 150 costs almost Rs 75,000. The Bajaj Pulsar 150, perceived to be cheaper, actually costs Rs 750 more than the Unicorn and Rs 14,000 more than the Achiever. The Yamaha SZ RR, the 150cc contender from Yamaha is Rs 10,000 more expensive than the Achiever. So, in terms of direct competition, the Hero offers much more value for money along with the service network of Hero and the i3s technology.

For about Rs 62,000, you can opt for a Honda Activa 125 – a scooter, Bajaj Pulsar 135LS and the Honda CB Shine SP – a 125cc motorcycle. In this case, with the Achiever, you can buy a motorcycle that is a segment above all of these and almost as economical as any of these. 

Gear Check

1. SOL 68 SII Metal Man helmet – The SOL 68 SII is a budget helmet. DOT rated and surprisingly stable at high speeds. Price -Rs 5,500 + Rs 900 for the tinted visor.

2. Scoyco JK-17 jacket – A slightly heavy budget jacket. The padding is good with ventilation to beat the heat. Price -Rs 3,800.

3. IXON RS PRO HP gloves – High quality gauntlet gloves suited for performance and sport riding. Price -Rs 15,000

4. AGV Sport Airtex pants – Riding pants with mesh in the crotch, calf, back of legs and thigh areas which is a real boon in our weather conditions. Price -Rs 6,500.

5. Joe Rocket Sonic R boots – These boots are for everyday usage and for the occasional spin on the track. Ventilation is limited but very comfortable to wear all day. Price -Rs 9,000.

 

Photography by Kapil Angane

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